POST Online Media Lite Edition


Poland imposed fine of more than $1.1m on Natural Pharmaceuticals

Christian Fernsby |
The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has issued a decision declaring that Natural Pharmaceuticals’ actions had violated the collective interests of consumers.

Article continues below

UOKiK has challenged seven practices that could influence and manipulate consumer decision making process in various ways.

Consumers’ very first contact with Natural Pharmaceuticals’ dietary supplement offerings via television advertising, printed order coupons, or websites may have been misleading.

The company boasted “more than one million satisfied customers” of a particular product, while the information referred to the number of total customers of the entrepreneur.

The entrepreneur also suggested that use of the product was recommended as part of nationwide health campaigns.

Some marketing materials used the authority of public institutions and invoked the supposed recommendations of the European Food Safety Authority for a particular supplement.

Among other things, the company’s TV commercial stated that each household could order a free year’s supply of vitamin D, while it was necessary to cover the cost of shipping the product which consumers may not have read. In addition, the company improperly labelled the button for online ordering, which was in violation of the Consumer Rights Law.

On some websites, Natural Pharmaceuticals offered a free sample of the dietary supplement. When the consumer clicked to confirm they wanted it, another window appeared almost immediately with a similar message, which, however, did not refer to a free sample, but to a year’s paid supply of the product with a subscription.

Due to the content and graphic form, it may have been indistinguishable to consumers. The complaints analysed confirmed that the company used a redirection mechanism ordering a free sample and signing up for a paid subscription followed directly after each other.

Displayed in a thank you window for placing an order, they may have been viewed by consumers as a continuation of the process of signing up for a free product sample.

What is more, in the channels for contact with consumers on websites, in printed order coupons, or through the hotline the company presented, among other things, a year’s supply of a particular product.

When the parcel arrived after a while, then it turned out that the entrepreneur’s offer also included a paid subscription to dietary supplements which consumers may not have been aware of.

The aforementioned redirection and subscription practices for dietary supplements, including invoking social proof (“a million satisfied...”) for customer manipulation, should be considered dark patterns (deceptive interfaces).

It is a name that encompasses anything that forces unintended or unwanted consumer actions in the virtual space for the benefit of the entrepreneur.

President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has imposed a total fine of PLN 5,196,840 ($1.1m)on the company for practices that violate the collective interests of consumers.

Carl Jonas Törnquist, President of the Management Board of the company, will also face a financial sanction of PLN 110,000 ($26,000) for intentionally allowing the company to violate the Competition and Consumer Protection Act.

Once the decision becomes final, the entrepreneur will have to inform all consumers who have been or are its customers since 14 February 2017 as well as post a statement on its website and social media.

What to read next

T-Mobile to pay $3.62m in Poland for violating consumer rights
Dutch central bank fines cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase 3.3 mln euros
Poland's competition watchdog imposed fine on Karcher amounting to $6 million

Nebraska Governor and university leaders announce food animal veterinary scholarship program

Governor Jim Pillen has announced a new scholarship program for Nebraska students aimed at growing the number of veterinarians serving livestock producers across the state.


Oklahoma Governor signs state grocery tax elimination bill into law
Virgina Governor announces state support for new poultry cooperative
West Virginia FY 2024 revenue collections $428 million ahead of estimate
India greenlights onion exports to UAE and Bangladesh


U.S.: Winter impacts finally easing in west; rain and storms across south; flooding threat in Hawaii

Nearly £300m of drugs seized by Royal Navy in Caribbean Sea
Malaysia willing to revisit MH370 case
Relatives of flight MH370 victims push for new search
U.S.: 12 feet of snow, wind stronger than Category 5 hurricane hits California
Houthis accuse U.S., UK of disrupting Red Sea communication cables


California has 100,000 EV public electric chargers

Suez Canal: Ship freight costs rose from $750 to $6,800 per container
Oman unveils designs for $2.4bn mountain destination
Serbia: Construction of Regional Science Park in Krusevac begins
Beijing eyes 100 more smart factories, digital workshops
Three companies own more than 19,000 or nearly 11% of rental houses in metro Atlanta

Trending Now

Affidea to acquire MedEuropa Romania

Commission approves €350 million Portuguese State aid scheme

Uruguay will study feasibility of hydrogen train for passengers in metropolitan area

Fitch affirms Iceland at ‘A’; Outlook Stable


Uruguay will study feasibility of hydrogen train for passengers in metropolitan area

Commission approves €350 million Portuguese State aid scheme
£360 million to boost British manufacturing and research
Canada announces additional ban on imports of Russian diamonds
Poland's efforts to restore rule of law pave the way for accessing up to €137 billion in EU funds
€1.9 million from European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to support 390 dismissed workers in Denmark

Today We Recommend

Commission fines Apple over 1.8 billion euro over abusive App store rules for music streaming providers


Drylock Technologies to add 113 Jobs in Rockingham County, North Carolina

EVAPCO adding 275 new jobs in Carroll County, Maryland

LL Flooring Q4 sales decreased 19.7%


Drylock Technologies to add 113 Jobs in Rockingham County, North Carolina

EVAPCO adding 275 new jobs in Carroll County, Maryland
Zurich voters approve extension of runways at airport
Affidea to acquire MedEuropa Romania
Q2 Metals to acquire Cisco Lithium Property in James Bay, Quebec
Verallia to acquire Vidrala's Italian glass operations for €230m


Mobica appoints Gary Butters as CEO

TerraPay appoints Louise Brett as independent director
Oxehealth appoints Todd Haedrich as CEO
Alan Berger joins Multi-Wing global board as non-executive director
BioMar appoints new VP for Asia
APO Group appoints Laila Bastati as chief commercial officer


Fitch affirms Iceland at ‘A’; Outlook Stable

New Zealand: Business sentiment moderates but remains upbeat in February
Romania: Economic sentiment falls in February
Poland: Economic sentiment falls to 10-month low in February
Belgium: Economic sentiment rises to 10-month high in February
Argentina: Consumer sentiment ticks up in February


MassMutual earnings $2.8 billion

LL Flooring Q4 sales decreased 19.7%
Dell Technologies Q4 revenue $22.3 billion
Hormel Foods Q1 sales $3.0 billion
Fortaco Q4 sales EUR 101.9 million
Statkraft delivered its second highest result


Micromanaging is the worst enemy of efficiency and teamwork

Niger set to monetize massive gas reserves through Saharan natural gas pipeline
Putting the brakes on EV folly that choked the market
Oil discovery in Kavango Basin may mean huge benefits for Namibians
Cape Town and Dubai battle over Africa's energy future
Is America going to lose its superpower status?


Poland in unofficial talks on agrifood exports with EU, deputy FM says

Fruit and vegetable production in EU in 2022
Belarusian customs prevented export to Russia of 300 tons of Polish pears
New Zealand develops salmon farming in open sea
State Veterinarian confirms rabies in Middle Tennessee horse
Census of agriculture reveals increase in number of farms in New Jersey


Allyship is critical and its needs appreciation

Generating 'buzz' about new products can influence their success
Hiring 'problem directors' can knock up to 64% off firm's value
Problematic 'zombie leadership' lives on in many cases
Younger workers have significantly lower productivity than older
Employees who experienced burnout valued jobs with training opportunities less


Commission fines Apple over 1.8 billion euro over abusive App store rules for music streaming providers

Supermoney fined EUR 1,480,000 for unfair commercial practice
SEC charges Lordstown Motors with misleading investors about company's flagship electric vehicle
Gunvor will pay over $661m to resolve foreign bribery case
Chicken suppliers agreed to settle claims that they conspired for years to fix poultry prices
Sandoz pays $265 million for settlement in U.S.



Hilton opens first hotel in Georgia on Lookout Mountain since Great Depression

Kigali, the most organized and cleanest city in Africa
Experience the thrill of walking across the breathtaking Ruyi Bridge
Share your story in Denver StorySlam in just five minutes
The Garden of Ninfa, Rome's dreamy romantic getaway
Visitors to be welcomed back on Farne Islands


Pagani Huayra R Evo, 900 hp from 770 Nm

Embraer Phenom 300E, true force to be reckoned with
Sikorsky S-76D helicopter, for perfect business travel above roads
Porsche Taycan, improved in almost everything
New Ford Explorer is all about exploring
Chevrolet 2025 Equinox is new and refreshed


Luxury duvet looks good, fells good and keeps you healthy

Vacheron Constantin, watches for life and more
Schüller kitchens, where functionality marries design
Marc Kaufman Furs, from glory days of Wild West to fashion empire
Kelaghayi scarf, powerful women's fashion symbol from Azerbaijan
Tiffany reimagined their necklace collections in bold style


Casette tapes are making a big comeback, and so are portable players

Neumann TLM 103, standard microphone for both voice and music
Epikore Epikore, luxurious loudspeakers you should have
Retro radios with soul for your car
Balanced Audio Technology power amplifier REX 500, 500 watts of solid state
Marantz TT-15S1 turntable, excellent materials and sound


Daily fiber supplement improves older adults' brain function in just 12 weeks

When company realeases product with less sugar consumer turn to other sweets
U.S. researchers identify new antibodies targeting "dark side" of influenza virus protein
U.S. CDC drops five-day COVID isolation guidelines
MF Meats recalls meat contaminated with oil not for food
Nutraceutical recalls thousands of bottles of mouthwash due to poisoning risk


Hubble captures dense globular cluster NGC 1841 162,000 light years away

NASA studying issues with Orion hatch design
Japan's moon probe SLIM back to sleep, JAXA says
Scientists discover radiation from massive stars shapes planetary systems
Avian influenza virus adapting to spread to marine mammals
China's first 'ground space station' passes acceptance review